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The QCOSS Board

QCOSS Board Chair Matt Gardiner

Matt Gardiner

QCOSS Board Chair

QCOSS Board Member Colleen Tribe

Colleen Tribe

Dip Ed, B.Ed, Grad Dip Special Ed, Grad Cert Specialised Leadership, MAICD 

BSocSc (Couns), M. Clin. Couns., Grad. Dip. Strategic Leadership

Matt is the Executive Director of Australian Services with Save The Children, leading a large, professional workforce across every state and territory. He has a background in relationship and trauma counselling, family support, mental health, family law mediation, violence prevention and community development. His experience has included leading Australia’s first Social Impact Bond to mature in Australia, and an innovative pay by result contract based on risk/return modelling.

Passionate about social justice, improving systems and therapeutic practice, Matt is an experienced practitioner and has held senior executive roles at some of Australia's leading not-for-profits and has sat on several governmental advisory committees. He is proud to contribute to the ongoing strength of QCOSS in its strategic objectives and to represent members across the state.

Matt is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has undergraduate qualifications in psychology and counselling, Masters in Clinical Counselling, Grad. Dip. in Strategic Leadership and is currently studying an MBA.

Colleen is the General Manager of Roseberry Qld, delivering programs in housing and tenancy, youth shelters, early intervention mental health, high intensity psychological services and clinical care coordination to young people, youth and family services, education and employment pathways.


Having worked in the Central Queensland (CQ) area for more than 20 years, Colleen has achieved success leading and managing a cross section of areas in schools, education projects and is now devoted to continually growing Roseberry Qld, and ensuring regional areas are serviced adequately.

Having an array of experience on boards, Colleen is currently also serving on the Rio Tinto Here for Gladstone, Advisory Board, Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Board (GAPDL) and CQUniversity Gladstone Regional Engagement Committee. She enjoys the professional learnings from each, being part of a leadership team and giving back to the community.

QCOSS Board Member Faiza El-Higzi OAM

Faiza El-Higzi OAM

BSc (Hons), Grad Dip Pjt Mgt, MAppSc, Med. JP(Qual)

Faiza is a general member of QCOSS with over 20 years’ experience in the community sector as a board member, manager and volunteer, focussing on emerging African, Arab and Islamic communities. 

She is a recipient of the Order of Australia Medal (2020) and Queensland Government Multicultural Award for Outstanding Individual (2018). Faiza has extensive experience working with young people and refugees. Currently Faiza is a member of the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council and Metro South Health Consumer Advisory Committee. Faiza was the Human Rights Advisor for the National Council for Women and is a member of the Queensland Multicultural Advisory Committee.

Faiza has 10 years’ experience in government at both state and federal levels in strategic policy, research and industry development. Her experience in the NGO sector includes community development, refugee settlement and youth engagement.


Faiza has several qualifications including a post graduate level in Architecture, Project Management, International Business and Education. She is currently a PHD scholar at the University for Queensland focusing on gender studies.

QCOSS Board Member Kevin Mercer

Kevin Mercer


Kevin is the Chief Executive Officer of St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland. He joined in February 2019 with more than 30 years of experience in management across a range of sectors, including 10 years in the aged care, community care, disability and retirement living sectors.

Kevin also held management positions in marketing, business development and logistics in a range of industries including retail, manufacturing, consulting, telecommunications and energy sectors.

Kevin has served as the Chief Executive Aged and Community Care of Mercy Health Australia, and as the Chief Executive Officer of Holy Spirit Care Services.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accountancy and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Canterbury. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the CEO Institute of Australia. Kevin has also completed Catholic Health Australia’s Ministry Leadership Program.

QCOSS Board Member Linda McClelland

Linda McClelland

BA, Grad Cert in Housing Management & Policy, Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management, Diploma of Management, Diploma of Quality Auditing

Linda is a regional member and has worked with and on boards within the not-for-profit sector for 30 years. As CEO of Hinchinbrook Community Support Centre, she has grown the centre into the lead community service provider in the Hinchinbrook area.

Linda has grown the centre through her passion for empowering others. This manifests in her commitment to teaching and mentoring, having taught community services through TAFE to both senior high school students and Indigenous workers from throughout North and Far North Queensland. 

At a strategic level, she has contributed to the development of the sector training, the recognition of Queensland neighbourhood centres through Queensland Families & Communities Association, and the needs of the housing sector through the Townsville Housing & Homelessness Network.

QCOSS Board Member Rachelle Patterson

Rachelle Patterson

Bachelor of Psychology, Master of Suicidology, Master of Health Promotion

Rachelle is Chief Operating Officer, Human & Community Services with Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland Limited. She believes every person should have the same opportunities regardless of background, education or challenges faced.

Rachelle has held a number of executive roles across out-of-home-care, mental health, research and human services. She has worked in urban, regional and remote settings across the Queensland, NSW, ACT and Western Australia. Rachelle’s work across rural and remote Australia has taught her that best practice and evidence-based models are not always broadly applicable to their intended populations.


It is her combined experiences working in policy environments, executive level positions and also several frontline sector roles that have brought her to this position. Rachelle is passionate about working with funding providers and policy makers to develop programs and models that are flexible enough to respond to any community or individual.

QCOSS Chief Executive Officer Aimee McVeigh

Aimee McVeigh

Chief Executive Officer

B.Laws, B.Communications, Post Grad Dip in Legal Practice, and Master of International and Public Law

Aimee is QCOSS' Chief Executive Officer, and a strong advocate for equality, opportunity and wellbeing for all Queenslanders. As a community lawyer and human rights advocate, Aimee led the successful campaign for a Human Rights Act for Queensland. 


Prior to joining QCOSS, Aimee worked in various senior and advisory roles, including at the Disability Royal Commission, Disability Law Queensland and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Legal and Advocacy Service.  Aimee has been engaged by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples as a gender advisor and has worked with a number of non-profit organisations in Queensland, including during the Child Abuse Royal Commission.  


Aimee was also a state finalist for the 2017 Australian of the Year Awards, and a finalist for the 2019 Australian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Medal.  

QCOSS Company Secretary Annette Schoone

Annette Schoone

Community Service Management, Community Development and Project Management, GAICD

Annette holds the role of Company Secretary. Annette is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds qualifications in Community Service Management, Community Development and Project Management, coupled with more than 25 years’ experience in management and leadership positions, strategy and operations, governance, and service management gained in local government and the not for profit sectors.


Former QCOSS Board Member Anita Veivers

Anita Veivers

Advanced Diploma Community Service Management; Diploma Management: Diploma Business, Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors

Resigned 5 November 2019

Former QCOSS Board Member Nadia Currie

Nadia Currie

Bachelor of Law

Resigned 13 February 2020

Former QCOSS Board Member Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson

BSocSci, BCouns, MCouns.

Resigned 5 November 2019

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